Zucchini pesto and parmesan grid

Something that I’ve learned during these days in confinement is that whenever you want to cook something tasty and delicious, you need to give your maximum level of concentration, effort and commitment. When your brain and emotions are enemies, frustration, disappointment and/or eagerness results. As a result, I have learned to dedicate time to every single task or activity.

We live in a society where we think that doing everything fast, fast and fast will result in success. However, being fast can sometimes break things. New York did make me a faster and more efficient person but sometimes results weren’t as polished and clean as when I dedicated more patience and time. My conclusion to all of these repetitive words is that I’m learning how to balance speed, efficiency and outcome to give the best of me.

I’ve also become a crazy fan of Jordi Cruz, I was one when I was 8 years old watching him as the judge in Spain’s Master Chef. However, seeing this young Michelin star chef that posts every other day recipes on Instagram are extremely helpful. He gives cooking tips that make you wonder how on earth where you cooking for all of these past years food in that way.

Today, I slightly modified his version of Rigatoni with Zucchini pesto and crispy parmesan grid. The result was wonderful.

Ingredients (serves 4 people):

  • 1 box of rigatoni pasta
  • 60 g pine nuts
  • 60 g parmesan cheese
  • Basil leaves
  • Peel of 1 big zucchini
  • 1 chopped garlic
  • 60 ml olive oil


To boil the pasta:

1. Place in boiled water 1 tbsp of salt and 2 bay leaves. Bay leaves in Spanish are named as “Hojas de laurel”.

2. Next place rigatoni pasta during 13 minutes and linguini pasta during 12 minutes. Rigatoni pasta needs one more minute than linguini, did you know this? Something else I didn’t know is that he doesn’t place oil in the boiling water because if you place oil then the sauce that you will cook the pasta with will not stick. Water and oil are enemies and it will make the sauce slide.

To make the pesto sauce:

1. Place in boiled water 1 tbsp of salt and 2 bay leaves. Bay leaves in Spanish are named as “Hojas de laurel”.

2. Peel the zucchini and save for the pesto sauce. It will give flavour and color to our pesto.

3. Now with the rest of the zucchini make zucchinis with form of rigatoni and linguini.

4. Chop a garlic and place in boiled water.

5. Add the peel of the zucchini and in 10 seconds add the basil leaves. Cook both for 40 seconds.

6. Remove everything and place the strained peels and basil in cold water with ice so that we STOP the cooking process and that the ingredients don’t loose color.

7. Remove from water once they’ve cooled up.

8. In your blender, chop the pine nuts. If you have a small size blender cup use this one better and save the big one to make the final pesto. Remove the pine nuts and place in a bowl.

9. Next, chop the parmesan in your small size blender cup. Place on top of the pine nuts.

10. Now, grab your big size blender cup and incorporate your chopped pine nuts, parmesan, basil, zucchini peels and olive oil. Blend until you can obtain a light green smooth texture as shown below.

To make the parmesan grid:

Get a pan and once it starts getting hot, start shredding parmesan forming a vertical line. Make it 5 mm of thick and long enough. Remove it incorporates a yellow color and crispy consistency.

To serve the pasta:

1. Grab a pan and place 50 gr of butter. Start placing linguini pasta and the linguini zucchini. Add salt and white pepper. Place two big spoons of your pesto sauce and start mixing around. With some twizers make three twists and serves all in a ribbon shape as in Italy. Place 5 parmesan shavings and some basil leaves on top.

2. Get another pan and place 50 gr of butter. Place the rigatoni shaped zucchinis. After 1 minute place the rigatoni pasta. Add salt, white pepper, and mix. Add the pesto sauce. Mix firmly. Intercalate the zucchini and pasta rigatoni. Place your parmesan grid. Add shredded parmesan and basil leaves.

Rigatoni zucchini pesto with parmesan grid

3. Eat with a grilled squid cooked with parsley and garlic, eggplant parmigiana or a salad to keep it clean and healthy!

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